Posts Tagged Swat flogging
By Rehan Ali
The road to righteousness (operation rah e raast) and subsequent salvation (rah e nijaat) is laden with gravestones of the sons of the soil. Last April, especially after the peace deal, people were hopeful for a peaceful resolution and prevention of exhaustive military engagement. A video exhibiting harrowing flogging of veiled woman was widely circulated on the digital waves. The matter was picked up by Guardian, BBC, The Hindu and ANI (Indian newswire service). Later, national mainstream media also propagated the heinous treatment of a girl. The media unanimously quoted Samar Minallah, a documentary film maker and anthropologist, who spent two years in Swat region during the 1990s.
Declan Walsh of the Guardian wrote “The Guardian received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker and anthropologist who lived in Swat for two years in the late 1990s. It has been passed between Swat residents by mobile phones. Ms Minallah said the punishment had been inflicted within the last 10 days, following the signing of a controversial peace deal under which the provincial government ceded control of the valley’s judicial system to the militants.
Declan Walsh, hinting militant influence to be deepening in Pakistan, describes the video in The Guardian as “The two-minute video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a burka-clad woman face down on the ground. Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly. ‘Please stop it’, she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. ‘Either kill me or stop it now’. A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera, a voice issues instructions. ‘Hold her legs tightly’, he says as she squirms and yelps. After 34 lashes the punishment stops and the wailing woman is led into a stone building, trailed by a Kalashnikov-carrying militant”.
Walsh’s narrative was picked up by all the papers except for Dawn, which changed the ending describing it as “The public flogging continued for several minutes, after which the wailing girl is dragged by a group of armed men to a nearby building.” Although, it was clearly visible that the girl took off on her own, shedding dirt of her clothes before hurriedly going into a mud house.
There were clear abnormalities in the video as the girl with heart rendering cries, after receiving 34 hits gets up, sheds dirt off her veil and runs inside a mud house. Sensationalism took over rationale and our media run the 2 minute piece without checking for authenticity. Later there were plenty of hue and cries from the civil society, which took to the streets, condemning the incident and asking severe action against the perpetrators.
Quoting Minallah and other sources, the media reported that the girl was punished on suspicion of having had an illicit relationship with a married man. She did not receive a trial. “The whole case is based on the suspicions of one neighbour,” said Minallah. The woman’s brother is among the men pinning her down, she added. “It’s symbolic that he does it with his own hands. It gives him honour in local society, that he has done it for the sake of religion.”
“This video is being widely circulated because the Taliban want people to see it. They want to give the message that this is taking place after the peace deal because this is something they ideologically believe in,” she was quoted as saying. Minallah said she feared Talibanisation would spread across Pakistan. “I have distributed this video because I feel people are in denial. They don’t want to believe what is happening.”
BBC’s Addul Hai Kakar, jumping on the band wagon and citing relatives of the male victim, reported that “Relatives of the man involved in the incident told the BBC he had gone to the house of the girl in the village of Kala Kalay to do repairs as an electrician, but militants accused him of having a relationship with her. They dragged him from the house and flogged him before punishing the girl, his relatives said. After the incident, the Taleban forced the couple to marry and instructed the man not to divorce his wife. His relatives say he has been left mentally scarred.”
There were condemnation from the governing quarters with Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ordering police and government officials from the north-western Swat Valley to bring the girl to court the coming week. Both the President and Prime Minister were shocked and asked the local officials to provide complete report of the incident and arrest the perpetrators.
Interior Affairs Adviser Rehman Malik was stated as saying, “We are investigating the matter. But sometimes anti-state elements make fake or artificial footage or images to bring disrepute to Pakistan.” NWFP minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the surfacing of the video footage was a conspiracy. Speaking at a press conference in Swat, provincial Minister Iftikhar Hussain alleged that an NGO activist, Samar Minallah, had released the video as part of a conspiracy. He said her brother had been a provincial minister in the government of Gen Pervez Musharraf. The minister said the incident was condemnable and should be investigated, but at the same time flashing it several months after its occurrence raised suspicions.
Malakand Division Commissioner Syed Mohammad Javed was quoted by local media as saying that the incident shown in the video clip had not happened in the Swat valley and that the accents of the people heard speaking in the video were not those of the region. “This fabricated video clip is a conspiracy to sabotage the Swat peace deal between the Taliban and the NWFP government,” the commissioner said after his visit to the Kala Kalay village where the incident is alleged to have taken place.
Recent arrests of the central characters of the video revealed that it was staged for a PKR 500,000. During operation in Malakand division, the law-enforcement agencies had arrested the children who were present in the video while a resident of Swat was apprehended by Kohat administration. “The children and the arrested man revealed that the video was ‘fake’ and said that it was made on the demand of Islamabad-based NGO which provided him Rs0.5 million,” it is revealed.
The report also confirmed the arrest of the women who admitted to have accepted PKR 100,000. Citing sources it was further revealed Sources revealed that woman who was flogged in the video was also arrested and she revealed that she had received PKR 100,000 while PKR 50,000 was given to each child. Sources said that the NGO produced the video to defame the country’s integrity and respect.
Exposed! Ms. Minallah reiterated with very bold and highly emotional rants, her recently published article scrutinizes the revelation. “The article does not bear the name of a journalist. It does not specify the name or identity of the ‘Swati man’ who claims to have made the video. It does not give the name of the NGO that supposedly paid the ‘local actors’ for acting in the ‘fake’ video. If all these were paid actors, does that imply that the Taliban leaders who admitted that the incident had happened were paid too?”
Highly charged and emotional she goes on to write “At a time when the entire country was under the threat of militants, I not only brought the attention of the country to this video but also condemned it at the risk of my own life. Much to the disappointment of many ‘professional conspirators’, the video was made by the Taliban and not by me”.
She explains that her role was merely to bring it (video) to public attention. “No NGO made millions by ‘launching’ the video because the video was already on mobile phones and the internet since weeks. The only thing ‘added’ to it was open and clear condemnation from me,” she adds.
However the role of Muslim Khan is also commendable, as he ensured the credibility of the video through his statement “She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross,” quoted by the Guardian.
Public opinion is divided, to some these Talibans’ are home grown barbarians, preaching their backward and extremist interpretation of Islam. Some say they are mercenaries funded by the Indians and Northern Alliance (Afghanistan). Americans gave us enormous aid and weapons and they want us to use them, more damagingly against our own people, is another widely held belief. The conflict was well suited to our American friends, as they saw it a chance to not only engage our military but also make us use our defense inventory.
The conflict has depleted many of our resources and the country has lost a good number of souls – both soldiers and civilians. There is a growing concern at the length of the operation. Rational thinker are advocating dialogue as a means of ending the conflict others. The road to righteousness (operation rah e raast) and subsequent salvation (rah e nijaat) is laden with gravestones of the sons of Pakistan. The lengthening conflict in the backdrop of above debate has baffled many a brains. What is righteousness and if large scale deaths and bombings is righteousness than would there be salvation in this life and the hereafter?
People of the area, the principal loser, never wanted any of this and are weary of this conflict. A simple conversation with any Pashtun, working in the urban Karachi or Lahore, will serve as an insight into the conflict. They all have harrowing tales of war to share real happenings to their kith and kin back in the war zones. However, it’s the liberation front, a group of educated and urbanized brand of thinkers, savvy of western praise and in some cases funding, wants to wipe the area clean. Willing to shed as much blood as necessary provided it is not theirs.
[Note: With electricity playing havoc, I am having a hard time sitting down and doing this piece at length. This is a bit disorganized as I wanted to put in a lot of old info to jog the memory but I don’t have the time to do a swell job of arranging it nicely. Hope this will do. And apologies for getting a bit messy]
Well the hint of truth slipping out has got our resident weasel out of her hole in the ground and her lies once again grace our papers today (interesting how every newspaper has obliged her):
The Swat flogging: do we need more proof?
It offers nothing new (see her piece from a year ago below titled “Swat Video is genuine, claim activists”) except calling those who question her “conspiracy theorists” and “Taliban Supporters” and “Taliban apologists“ (Oh how original! But their is one original one too: “professional conspirators” Methinks she is accusing guys like me to be on the pay of some one. Wish she’d identify whom so I can go collect my paycheck;-) BTW: She herself is undeniably — and admittedly — a “pro” NGO b!tch and we are very clear who her bosses are). But she does mess up some — see that is the trouble when you lie so much. For example, she writes:
“At a time when the entire country was under threat from militants, I not only brought the attention of the country to this video”
WELL IF THIS IS NOT AN ADMISSION THAT SHE WAS USING THE VIDEO FOR PROPAGANDA PURPOSES THAN I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS!!!!
She goes on to say believe me because — like in her last piece — Taliban say so. She even quotes Rahmatullah Yousafzai to “prove” this flogging was real because “other floggings have happened”. What she doesn’t tell you is that Yousafzai reported the girl DENIED the flogging (the RYousafzai story is linked below). This is faulty logic. Of course we know that and I am not denying that. But that this particular one did not happen when claimed is all I am claiming and Ms Minallah you have yourself all but admitted to it and admitted to the fact you used it for propaganda.
Another interesting and stupid line from her article:
“If this is ‘fake’ then what about the way Shabana was brutally killed in front of many silent spectators?”
I don’t know which Shabana you are talking about but I do know you did not raise a stink about it. You did not post it on YouTube (oh by the way you lied about that too at first claiming someone else had put the flogging video on YouTube and you happened to come across it. It was YOU who posted it and spread the word to bbc and WP etc) nor did you appear on talk shows hawking it.
I will continue to challenge those who misuse religion for power and politics.
And I will continue to expose lying b!tches like you whose think their religion gives them the right to screw your father-in-law and have her brother as a pimp (see below; and speaking of pim brothers, I must pay my respects to your pimp brother: “Oh, Hi! Athar!) and use little lies to propagate atrocities as happened in Swat.
I think you better quit with these “I was right because Taliban say so” defenses — you are only exposing your lies more and more.
‘More’ ‘proof’? Oh, like the faked-up video (see Orya Maqbool Jan’s take)? No thanks! (That you were lying was clear from start (Watch it: Capital Talk Apr 01, 2009) and you proved it again and again). Here are some real facts:
1. The video was shot as early as in Jan (now it is being alleged Samar Minallah and her NGO Ethnomedia paid to have been staged)
2. Samar Minallah sat on it for at least 3 months
3. This also means it happened BEFORE THE SWAT PEACE DEAL but she USED IT TO KNOCK THE PEACE DEAL so the KILLING CAN COMMENCE (I said at the time “She wants dead people!!!!!” )
5. Here is that ridiculous story that was printed (only 2 days later on Apr 4, 2009) to try to sell the story:
The story is getting ridiculous. New scenes added (I titled it this way)
In it a fairytale was told including false claims that:
– The incident happened after the Swat deal. (If that istrue, how come the video was being passed from phone to phone till eventually reaching Ms Minallah “through email”? That is some rapid dissimination)
– We are expected to believe BBC was able to gather all this and identify all the characters and their backgrounds from its investigation in 24 hours or less; and that too when the original story even on BBC was only quoting Ms Minallah
In the print edition of Jang the same day, another version was offered which was even more ridiculous. The person having made the video claims the girl had refused to marry this guy so he joined the Taliban (really?) and had her punished under a false claim thus carrying our his revenge. Go figure (What I specially don’t understand is he could have made this false claim without joining the Taliban so why go through the trouble??) Too bloody fantastic!
6. That this little incident would be deemed so important to get the focus was indeed uncany (when so many worst things were going on) and even those againt the Taliban like Cowasjee notice this anamoly in his piece titled “When Will We Wake Up“:
THE local press is sometimes rather tardy when it comes to latching on to events on the home front. The video of the flogging of a young girl allegedly by the Taliban in the usurped vale of Swat began its circulation around the internet early last week.
On April 2, a report headed ‘Video of girl’s flogging as Taliban hand out justice’ was printed in The Guardian, and a similar report in The Times under the heading ‘Video: radicals beat girl, 17, in Islamic stronghold of Swat, Pakistan’. Britain awakens early. The New York Times followed suit two days later, on April 4, in tune with our press, and printed a report on the flogging, ‘Video of Taliban flogging rattles Pakistan’.
The news in Pakistan was headlined the same day after the subject video had been aired on most of our news channels on Friday, April 3. On one channel, a ‘spokesman’ for the Taliban defended the punishment with the caveat that it should not have been publicised. And one anchor person apparently quoted chapter and verse of the Quran and applauded the flogging.
The government of the NWFP which, with the blessings of the federal government, concluded the ‘peace’ deal in Swat with Sufi Mohammad and the Taliban on Feb 15, via its information minister called the airing of the video an attempt to ‘sabotage’ the peace deal. President, prime minister and assorted federal ministers had no option but to make the usual condemnatory noises and issue the usual inquiry orders.
Pakistan’s chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, has sprung into action, as expected of a man of his stature who has his head and heart in the right place, and taken suo motu action summoning to his court members of the administration of the NWFP. Not that it can serve much purpose as both provincial and federal governments have abdicated their writ in the vale of Swat and handed it over to the Taliban to do with it and its inhabitants what they will.
Such is the schizophrenia that assails us, which is evident in all walks of life and in all different class distinctions. Education in our case is no panacea for a mass state of denial when it comes to events happening under our combined eyes. It is amazing how the benefits of higher education swiftly rub off our elite classes when it comes to matters of tradition which glorify the violation of human rights.
With so many wrongs/atrocities being committed (plenty of videos of heats being cut off around) why focus on this little flogging, indeed? Of course Ansar Abbasi saw the same and got blasted. My dear Earthman, International Professor saw through it and wrote “Taliban flogging video was fake, prepared and financed by a NGO at Islamabad” (What is interesting is the site where it appeared (MakePakistanBetter) is blocked here in Pakistan; Funny, no? I guess Pakistan does not want to MakePakistanBetter! ). Even the NWFP govt and Taliban themselves termed the video release conspiracy as it is being shown a year later.
7. That this was a fully managed campaign can be judged from how quickly every paper of note around the local and western press latched on to it. Were they all watching Capital talk that night? No! They all quoted Ms Minallah so we can have no doubt who was behind this. (I do find amazing is that Geo managed to make that little flogging clip into a 23+ minute report)
8. Just like today, Samar Minallah came out two days after the release of the video to defend her version and failed MISERABBLY. In fact she left no doubt she was a LYING BITCH. See for yourself in the full story and my comments on it at the time:
Swat video is genuine, claim activists
“…Samar Minallah, the human rights activist and documentary film-maker, while talking to The News said that the video was being circulated from mobile phone to mobile phone and from person to person. She said that she received the video via email from a human rights activist of Swat. Talking about the authenticity of the video Minallah said that everyone in Swat knows that the incident took place but unfortunately the NWFP government wants to divert the attention of the masses from the actual issue of harassment of women. She said that the facts and figures would be produced before the Supreme Court [Apr 2010: They never were and CJ seems to have gone to sleep on it] and everyone would come to know about the authenticity of the video.[Apr 2010: We are still waiting. But I am posting the story about the case when it made it to SC at the bottom]
“NWFP minister Mian Iftikhar directly named me while addressing a press conference yesterday while today the NWFP government has been apologising over directly blaming me”, said Samar Minallah adding: “I have got nothing from publicising this horrific video except putting my life in danger and if the government cannot provide me security then at least it should not divert the attention of the masses.”
[Is she asking for a bullet-proof car and police escort?]
She said that the dialect which the girl was speaking was purely of Swat as she herself has worked in Swat and any Pushtoon could recognise it. Samar said that Muslim Khan, the spokesman of Taliban in Swat, accepted that the incident took place and also told the media that the girl had an illicit relationship with her father-in-law. “If the incident did not take place then how come Muslim Khan came to know about the allegations levelled against the girl?”, said the human rights activist adding: “Muslim Khan said the actual punishment to be awarded to the girl was stoning to death but she was flogged.”
[Oh, so is Ms Minallah saying it is OK to have illicit relations with your father-in-law? AND why didn’t she let us on to this very important/relevant info earlier?][Apr 2010:And so now we are supposed to believe the Taliban Spokesperson? And why if she was awarded the “stoning to death” verdict was she just flogged? Wasn’t that “nice” of the Taliban?? ]
She said that a writer contributing to the BBC had confirmed that the incident was recent and from Swat.[Apr 2010: Oh, so Ms Minallah is using the BBC to cover for her and BBC is using her to cover for them. Nice little symbiotic relationship]
She referred to a human rights activist of Swat who when contacted requested anonymity as publishing his name could put his life in danger. [Apr 2010: The same one who sent her the video?] The human rights activist said that the video was so common in Swat that everyone was aware of it.[Apr 1010: This alone proves the video was MUCH OLDER than she claimed. This again proves her releasing it for a purpose] The activist had said that he received the video from Taliban who were not happy with the incident as it was un-Islamic because the girl had not faced any trial. “Many Taliban were not happy with the incident and they themselves had made the video and circulated it” , said the human rights activist adding: “The girl’s younger brother was forced to hold her at gunpoint and the man lashing the girl also abused that boy which could be heard easily; the Taliban said to that boy, “Pimp, take her inside the house?”
[Oh this is getting GOOD! So it was the Talban who were distributing the video even though they were not happy with what happened — “as it was un-Islamic because the girl had not faced any trial” ??? So Talibans DID have the sense to see this? And yet Ms Minallah accused them and hid this important part??? And I am supposed to worry about the Taliban….WHAT A FVCKING FABRICATOR that Ms Minallah is ][Apr 2010: And I find it very odd that if I believe Ms Minallah and the Taliban (Ms Minallah is telling me to believe them so I must), this girl was screwing her father-in-law with her brother acting as a pimp and yet the Taliban thought “what a wonderful family!” (Remember Ms Minallah herself wants us to believe Taliban felt bad she was punished so screwing your father-in-law and pimping for your sis must be all “kosher” according to the shariat and Ms Minallah, at least that is what she wants us to believe)]
The activist from Swat said that the incident took place in a remote area near village Serbanda in upper Swat and many Taliban say that it was an illegal activity as proper procedure of having four witnesses was not adopted. He was of the view that the video was recent and there were many other similar incidents which could not be highlighted by the media.
[“many Taliban say that it was an illegal activity as proper procedure of having four witnesses was not adopted.” ][Apr 2010: Again we are being asked to believe Ms Minallah’s fib that the video was recent is to be believed because Taliban confirm her version. Oh so nice of then.]
I must ask: If we are to believe this sh!t from Ms Minallah, I just don’t understand what is the issue she has with the Taliban? I mean they seem to agree on everything 100%
SWAT: WHERE IT IS TODAY
Some people of Swat speak out…(of course they will be declared ‘Taliban-supporters’ or “professional protesters” by ms Minallah):
State accused of Swat’s destruction
Monday, April 05, 2010
By Delawar Jan
PESHAWAR: Swat Qaumi Jirga on Sunday declared the state of Pakistan responsible for all the destruction, killings and miseries of the people in Swat and sought an apology from President Asif Ali Zardari as the head of the state….
And what about those other people from Swat…you know…the IDPs that all the ‘civil society’ was kind enough to make them into refugees? Well they are still suffering (as they were last year) as I talked about earlier:
IDPs from tribal areas
Not only has the theatre of war against the militants in the northwest expanded in recent times, it has also extracted a heavy price in the process by displacing people from various affected areas on a very large scale. The fact must be kept in mind and both state and civil society should come to the aid of the IDPs. According to one relief agency, it has registered over 1.3 million IDPs from the tribal areas. The exodus from Orakzai Agency alone amounts to over 75,000 tribesmen at even conservative estimates. Parts of the agency have reportedly turned into ghost towns where starving children search for food.The exodus was a predictable consequence of the operation against the militants, but little evidence is available of the state having made efforts to mitigate the IDPs’ suffering. The sole relief camp in the area is in Hangu district, accommodating less than 4,000 people. There is no room for the hundreds of people streaming into the area everyday. Apparently, no relief camp exists in Kohat district, where over 22,000 IDPs have registered themselves with the social welfare department. Unsurprisingly, the battle against militancy has led to mass migration, with people seeking refuge in Kohat and Hangu districts and Khyber Agency….
So what this b!tch wrought has only spread.
P.S. See my comment that really got ALL baboos fuming and pull out their knives (I must have set a record for the names I was called in that thread )
The story when the case made it to SC:
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court hearing of suo motto notice case relating to the flogging of a Swat girl adjourned here sine die.
Interior secretary, NWFP IG, Attorney General (AG) and other high officials appeared before the eight-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry hearing the Swat case.
AG, Latif Khosa during the hearing made a plea that the matter relating to the flogging of girl was a sensitive issue and, therefore, the hearing be conducted closed-door. The Supreme Court turning down the request for in-camera trial gave remarks that the flogging was made known through the media and added that the facts need be brought before the public.
The victim Swat girl could not be presented during the SC hearing, while a confidential report was presented from the NWFP chief secretary (CS). The SC bench refusing to accept NWFP CS report relating to the flogging of girl remarked that no confidential report was required and said all facts should be brought in public.
Besides, the girl’s statement before the magistrate was also presented through AG, in which the girl has denied the alleged flogging incident. NWFP IG on this occasion in his statement drew the attention of the court to this fact that the police have no access to several areas in Swat. [Oh, and Ms Minallah does? And BBC seems to be in every nook-and-corner as can be “proved” from the fact they managed to gather so much in 24 hours as mentioned by me above] To this, the bench remarked, “Your statement tantamount to laying arms.”
NWFP IG said that an FIR has been registered against unidentified persons and an investigation team headed by DIG has been constituted.[Why “unnamed”? Just ask bbc or Ms Minallah or Muslim Khan ]
The SC bench expressed its displeasure with interior secretary, Kamal Shah relating to Swat incident, while a member of the bench, Khalilur Rahman Ramday enquired from interior secretary, “Except arresting judges, do you do any other work.”
CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry in his remarks said that investigations be conducted that who conspired to defame Islam and Pakistan.
Hey CJ, WAKE UP!!!
For completeness, here is another story and my comments:
By Rahimullah Yusufzai [for the benefit of @Mo Usman so he can’t deny it’s creditability ]
PESHAWAR: Chand Bibi, the young girl who was shown being flogged by the Swat Taliban in a videotape aired on television channels, gave a statement to a Qazi, or judge, on Sunday, denying the incident.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the NWFP information minister, told The News that she made the statement to Mohammad Riaz, the judge of the Qazi Court for Matta Tehsil, and the commissioner of Malakand division, Syed Mohammad Javed, both of whom visited her village, Kala Killay, in Kabal Swat district on Sunday.
Quoting the commissioner, Mian Iftikhar said the girl, Chand Bibi, made it clear that she was indeed married to Adalat Khan and everyone in the village knew about it. She refuted the reports that both of them were flogged by the Taliban as punishment for maintaining illicit relations and then forcibly married….”
ATTENTION MS MINALLAH!
And I am sure Ms Minallah agrees. BTW: Under which law is death punishment prescribed for spanking? I am waiting…..
ONE FOR THE ROAD:
Well in case you are wondering why you are hearing all this talk about Southern Punjab and America’s latest warnings, our ladies have been hard at work. I already told you about Ayesha Siddiqa but did you know Samar Minallah has been hard at work there too?